Larry arrived in town earlier than we did and had scouted out the best place in town. He bought us a growler (thanks again, Larry!) to share and we killed some time there before dinner. Back at the not-Ribeye Center, we had a lasagna dinner and chatted with the guys from IbuPROfen, three younger guys who we would see a lot out on the course. At the pre-race meeting, John, the race director, told us about some of the unique history of the town of New Harmony, warned us about a missing cow we may encounter, cautioned us about the Asian carp in the river, and encouraged us to bring some warm clothes for Saturday night. I was very happy I followed his advice. I was excited to win a set of boot dryers in the prize drawing.
Chuck is pro-popping, while Kate and I are adamantly against it. The clouds started getting darker at this point and we felt a couple rain drops, but the weather held and the day was mostly sunny and mild. We were relieved to have an easy CP, as 8 was a log cabin right off the road. We continued on with Virtus and solo racer Mike to CP9, where we all separated for a bit. We found the control in a spring and then followed the edge of a cornfield and a trail to what we thought was the correct hilltop for CP10. After searching the area, Neil realized we were not actually at the top of the hill and we continued on up to the correct area (this is where I handed off the map to eat again, guess I need to quit that bad habit). Scott punched the passport and we headed down the hill into the town of New Harmony. CP11 was unique, as it was inside a labyrinth made of hedges. (I wish the hedges were taller than me) After refilling water bladders and grabbing some food from our packs, we headed through the center of town to CP12, a reentrant. It turns out, once you reach civilization, Neil can no longer tell east from north (Kidding! Sort of.) (there were no hills to read, it was flat. Also I blame Scott, I told him not to let me nav in town, but he let me take the map away from him) (I told you where to go and then I told you Chuck was going the right way and to follow him but you kept circling the tavern, some would think you wanted a beer, what’s 15 minutes walking aroung town during a race? Amanda we could have got that beer), so we took the scenic route to CP12, a reentrant, which also happened to have a fantastic view of the Wabash River, where we would be canoeing. At TA1, we had to show our knives for a gear check. Neil and I plotted points for the next leg, while Larry patched up my blistered feet and then Scott and Larry got our gear down to the river and ready for us to start paddling.
TA2 was up next, where we dropped the paddling gear, got some hot chocolate from the fantastic volunteers, plotted more points, had a gear check for our red blinking lights, and took off on bikes.
, we packed up and hit the road. I think I was asleep before we left the park and I didn’t wake up until we were on Scott’s street. (Driveway) I told them they weren’t allowed to take pictures of me while I was sleeping and I *think* they listened to me(um, yeah, sure). For me, the race was definitely hard, and highlighted some areas I need to focus on in training (spending lots of time trekking and running with a pack and also orienteering, specifically). We worked well together as a team and all four of us had very different skills we brought to the table. I would definitely race with these guys again in the future.